Do you enjoy grim stories with gritty visuals? Are you a masochist? Have you ever thought, “I want a game difficult enough to make me beat my head on my console until one or the other breaks?” If any of these apply to you, then I have excellent news!
Scheduled for release on May 25, 2018, Dark Souls Remastered will be haunting shelves and hard-drives everywhere. The remaster promises to be a shiny new version of the original Dark Souls (or as shiny as a Dark Souls game could ever get). Fans are very, very excited, and there’s a good chance this will bring in new players, as well.
Which is the perfect time for me to confess – I never played Dark Souls. To be fair, I tried. The Prepare to Die edition is in my Steam library, and I’ve installed on it multiple occasions. I’ve heard there were issues with the PC version, but it was basically unplayable, and no, I don’t mean difficulty-wise. The controllers were wonky, the camera was odd, and I just couldn’t do it. Believe me, I’m as disappointed as you. It’s also highly doubtful I was the only player with this experience.
Now, I told you that to tell you this: even I am excited for this remastered version. If I had a dime for every friend and coworker who’s bugged me about playing that game, I’d have… well, about 60 cents. But there’s no questioning the passion that people have for the Dark Souls franchise, and the original appears to be the undisputed favorite of the trilogy. Once the remaster comes out, I’m going to give it a few weeks for the bugs to get fixed and public opinion to give the thumbs up, and then I will totally jump on the bandwagon.
If a non-fan like me is willing to give this a go, then there’s absolutely no reason you shouldn’t follow suit. In fact, we’ve got some pretty good reasons why you should.
QLOC is in charge
If you haven’t heard of QLOC, don’t worry. They’re a Polish company focused on QA and ports, which means they tend not to make headlines. Trust us when we say that these guys being in charge is almost certainly a good thing. QLOC has handled ports for DmC: Devil May Cry, Dead Rising HD Remaster, and, most importantly, Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen, because that’s not dissimilar to Dark Souls. An overall excellent track record is making the Dark Souls community pretty optimistic that the remastered version is in good hands.
Multiplayer is vastly improved
A major complaint about multiplayer in the original Dark Souls was… pretty much that it never worked. The peer-to-peer system was highly unreliable, the players were almost entirely elite veterans, and the very concept behind the way multiplayer worked was so confusing as to not make it worth it for most people.
Get ready for all that to change in Dark Souls Remastered. Well, mostly. They’re finally adding dedicated servers, so connection and stability issues should no longer be a problem, and they’re upping the player cap from 4 to 6, which is, by definition, 1.5x better. It appears the general way in which multiplayer works, with invasions and summoning, will remain mostly intact, although they might want to make it a little more clear for new players than it was before.
Sadly, it’s been officially announced that cross-platform multiplayer will not be available. Chagrined, but not surprised.
It includes DLC
The content of Dark Souls Remastered is based on the Prepare to Die version, which means it will include the Artorias of the Abyss DLC, as announced by Bandai Namco UK. While it’s not new content, this at least means players will have immediate access to all the original content. Anyone who was worried about having to wait and pay more for the remastered version of the DLC (not unheard of these days) can breathe a sigh of relief. Artorias of the Abyss is a full adventure, and just getting to it was a task all by itself. There are plenty of additional characters, locations, and enemies to discover, and probably a couple dozen new ways to die, because Dark Souls.
It’s on lots of platforms
Very good news for people who can’t afford (or simply choose not to have) multiple platforms – Dark Souls Remastered is being released on PC, PS4, Xbox One and… wait for it… the Nintendo Switch. I know a few hardcore fans who have already peed themselves with excitement over being able to play Dark Souls on the bus. Hopefully they’ll shower before boarding said bus.
Anyone with an XB1X or PS4 Pro will be even more delighted to know that the game will be available in upscaled 4K, while PC gamers will get native 4k. On top of that, the PS4/Xbox One/PC versions will have a framerate of 60 fps, which is a massive improvement over the original 30. One of the biggest gripes of the original Dark Souls involved horrible framerate issues, especially in Blighttown. With any luck, the new version will fix these issues and allow everyone to bask in the dusky glory that is Lordran.
Switch owners will probably not be surprised to hear that performance will be lowered for their version – in addition to 30 FPS, the handheld mode will be 720p, just like the original. Regardless, this is setting up to be a seriously good-looking game, and we have our fingers crossed that it outperforms the original.
Are you a Dark Souls fan? Have any thoughts on the remastered version? Let us know in the comments!